Question about moles

lynne_melb(z9b Melb FL)May 21, 2008

Well, I'm having another Florida wildlife experience.

It appears that I have a mole(s) tunneling in my back yard. Of course,it has to be right at the back door, where 16 canine paws and I can track the dirt into the house many times a day. I've searched on the internet and have found only things that don't work for moles. I realize that they can be very beneficial, I just wish it would find a different spot in the yard, or say the hundreds of untouched acres behind my postage stamp sized yard.

I've heard anecdotally that if you keep stomping down the tops of their tunnels, that they may move elsewhere. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, can black racers eat a mole? (Wishful thinking)

Last night I was checking the back yard for wildlife before sending my terriers out for the night. I was a little skittish because I wasn't sure where the black racer was. I stomped on the patio before stepping out into the back yard. After I stomped, I heard a hissing sound coming either from the back yard, or outside on the other side of the patio area (not my yard) It sounded similar to a sprinkler head that wasn't working right, but my sprinklers weren't on, and the sound was intermittent. My neighbor's sprinklers weren't on either - it was 2am.

Would moles ever make a sound like that? I assume the black racer can't make a sound like that. Even with a flashlight, I couldn't see the area beyond my yard. Would a raccoon or possum make such a sound? Any other guesses? The area in question has some trees and then slopes down to a pond. Two sides of the pond are surrounded by scrub. Beyond one of the scrub areas, there is construction, so perhaps something got displaced. In this area, deer and a bobcat have been spotted - the bobcat hasn't been seen recently. One of the neighbors swears that he saw a panther, but I don't think it's too plausible. The teenage boys in the neighborhood tell me that there were once rattlesnakes in the neighborhood when an adjoining subdivision is being built. Any thoughts as to what the sound could have been from?

I'm mostly concerned about something hurting my dogs. They are terriers, full of bravado when encountering frogs and lizards. I fear that they could try to take on something that they shouldn't. By the way, I think black racers can bite, would that hurt a 16 pound dog?

Thanks much,

Lynne

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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Hi Lynne,
I'm not an expert on snakes but I don't think a black racer could hurt your dogs. If they get one in their jaws the snake would try to fight back but I think a shake or two would end the battle in favor of the terriers.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 5:53PM
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gatormomx2(9a)

My 65 pound female border collie is a real mole killer . All the dogs dig like mad after moles but she's the only one fast enough to catch them . Apparently they make wonderful play things . She tosses them in the air and won't give them up until I take the soggy thing away from her . She doesn't eat them like she does mice and rats .
How on earth is a mole beneficial ? The moles have eaten the roots of so many new trees that I have planted . They seem to have a fondness for oaks. I've tried the mole bait but it doesn't work - don't waste your money . Stomping on their fresh burrows seems to help - even more so when I drive my truck over their mounds .
I wouldn't worry about your dogs . If they make enough noise they will scare away anything . Most snakes are much more afraid of dogs and us .

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 7:07PM
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auntiejan(9b-Melbourne)

1. Yes, Terriers will encounter things they shouldn't, That's why they are terriers! :O) Always monitor them if you are afraid of wildlife.

2. Moles vs. Terriers. And they haven't dug them up yet? Well, probably better they don't, but our dogs dispatch them quickly.

3. Moles part two. **WARNING*** Graphic content follows... One thing I used to do is wait until the warm part of the day, say between 10-2 (varies) and hunt the little buggers when they are active. A pitchfork will take care of them below ground quickly and out of sight. Watch for the tunnel... be careful how you walk, they can hear your footsteps. You can see them as they tunnel and... well, you know the rest. Squashing the tunnels does seem to help too.

3a. If you are completely squeamish then I'd ask a really good friend or relative come help.

4. I've never seen any of my black racers eat anything larger than a lizard.

5. I HATE MOLES! LOL

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 12:06AM
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jupiterplants(10/A)

I may be wrong , but I don`t think I have ever seen a mole in
the tri county area of south east Florida.

Armadillos yes , but not moles.

Maybe the water table is too high for them ? LOL !

D`Ann

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 6:04AM
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nativemel

Things that "hiss" outside, at night, in the dark, and sort of sound like a weird sprinkler head...my first thought was opossum. I've had that familiar run-in in my own backyard.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:41AM
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doc_dot(z9)

Yep! You have 'possum.

I volunteered with a wildlife re-hab unit/museum. Possums clean up the environment as do vultures. Disease organisms that pass through their guts come out polutant free.

They look nasty with those teeth bared, and the hissing. But they are scaredy cats. Get close, and they play dead.

It's raccoons that put fear in my gut. Folks think they are cute, leave food out, reduce the fear of humans, and WHAMMO, the animals bite.
Dot

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 11:36AM
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lynne_melb(z9b Melb FL)

Thanks everyone.
I think that the hissing was an opossum. After tracking more mud into the house today, I'm hating the moles more. Gatormom, maybe I can borrow your border collie? (lol)
Lynne

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 8:13PM
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billbrandi(9)

If you have moles then you likely have mole crickets and/or grubworms in your lawn. Get rid of them and your moles will disappear also. Two treatments on your yard over a month should do the trick. As for the black racer, consider yourself lucky to have one living in your yard. I have one also, nicknamed Maurice, and he keeps the yard free of palmetto bugs and other unwanteds. We haven't had a palmetto bug in the house since Maurice arrived. Lastly, if you have a possum then you have something in your yard that possums eat. Take away that and the possum will go also. Be careful of raccoons, my dog cornered one and came away with a dose of distemper.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 9:49PM
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lynne_

After reading Billbrandi's response, I was set to investigate how to treat the yard for the mole crickets or grubworms. Either they read my mind, or the stomping down on the tunnels worked. No sign of the moles for days. They had been in my neighbors front yard previously when they just disappeared from hers and into my back yard.

Yes, I appreciate my black racer and have named her. However, she still startles me if she's in an unexpected place.

No more signs of the possum - it was not on my property, just behind it. It was so strange, there are still a few mockingbirds that chirp all night, but they were all quiet when the possum was hissing.

Have a good weekend everyone.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 1:38PM
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